A spring Wisconsin snowstorm demonstrates how a building design practice may lead to higher risk.

An unusual design project gives this CM international exposure.

Getting information up front on sprinkler systems can ease the design process.

Finding opportunity in the growing solar panel market.

An unusual project with an uncommon shape presented the kind of design challenge truss technicians don’t see every day.

A little forethought can prevent the potential overstress that occurs when deflection leads to rooftop ponding.

A best practice for building designers: find a friend to check your load paths.

Lumber Design Values

No matter the species, component manufacturers (CMs) purchase and rely on the accuracy and reliability of many different lumber design properties, including: bending (Fb); shear parallel to grain (Fv), compression perpendicular to grain (Fc^), compression parallel to grain (Fc), tension parallel to grain (Ft), and modulus of elasticity (E and Emin).


What is the recommended standard spacing for open-web wood joists? I have seen them placed 24 in. O.C. Is this acceptable for a customer who will have an exercise room with 500 pounds of free weights? I understand there are problems with bouncy floors with 24 in. spacing. Is this true?


In a small scale multi-family residential project, I'd like to use a wood truss floor-ceiling assembly to achieve a one hour separation between units. I'd like to directly attach the drywall to the underside of the trusses & use the truss space for ducts & lighting (the floor above will be lightweight concrete on plywood sub-floor). UL assemblies do not seem to address the duct/light penetrations in such an assembly. Can I achieve a one-hour rating in such an assembly and how are penetrations addressed? Can the ducts in the truss space serve both units above and below?